Guide to the Mary Chase Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Chase, Mary, 1907-
Title: Mary Chase papers
Dates: 1945-1968 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3.0 linear feet (4 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 542
Summary: Mary Coyle Chase (1907-1981) was born in Denver, Colorado. While working at newspaper and public relations jobs, Chase began to write plays. Her most famous play is Harvey, the story of Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary, six-foot tall rabbit. Chase incorporated elements of fantasy drawn from Irish folktales into her work, such as banshees and Celtic pookas (spirits in animal form). The collection includes literary manuscripts and correspondence.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Mary Coyle Chase was born on February 25, 1907 in Denver Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado, and worked for The Rocky Mountain News as a reporter and served as publicity director for the National Youth Administration. Chase was also a playwright and author, her most famous works being the play Harvey and the book Loretta Mason Potts ( Mickey). Harvey won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a movie starring James Stewart, and her book The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden was nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award in 1969. She married Robert Lamont Chase (a newspaper reporter), on June 7, 1928. In addition to her career as a reporter, playwright and author she was a member of the Dramatists' Guild and had three sons. She died of a heart attack, October 20, 1981, in Denver, Colorado.

Content Description

The Mary Chase Papers consist of manuscripts and one folder of correspondence. The manuscripts include various drafts of and related material for plays such as Bernardine, Harvey, and Mickey (the manuscripts of Mickey have the early titles of: Loretta Fanning Potts, Loretta Mason Potts and Loretta). Also included are galley proofs of the book The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden (no manuscripts of the book are included).

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Mary Chase Papers, Ax 542, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series: Manuscripts.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by processing staff, 1968.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1 The Banshee undated
1 2 Bernardine 1953
1 3 Bernardine November 17, 1952
1 4 Bernardine undated
1 5 Harvey (The Pooka) 1953
2 1 Harvey undated
2 2 Harvey undated
2 3 Harvey undated
2 4 Haunted Rehearsal undated
2 5 Mickey (Lolita Fanning Potts)
3 1 Mickey (Loretta Mason Potts) undated
3 2 Mickey (Loretta) undated
3 3 Mickey (Loretta) undated
3 4 Midge Purvis undated
3 5 Mom and Leo undated
3 6 The Prize Play undated
3 7 The Sacred Thirty Six undated
4 1 The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden undated

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4 2 Correspondence 1945-1968

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  • Personal Names :
  • Chase, Mary, 1907-
  • Chase, Mary, 1907---Correspondence
  • Subject Terms :
  • Playwriting
  • Women authors, American--20th century
  • Women dramatists, American--20th century

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